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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has posted a piece on Triple Pundit about focusing on retrofitting the city's buildings to be greener, and to stimulate job growth.Mayor Newsom's post highlights that while new construction is great and creating phenomenal LEED buildings like the California Academy of Sciences is wonderful, new green construction in a city like San Francisco is just not viable. Instead, he says retrofitting buildings to be green could potentially create thousands of jobs for city residents while making the city as a whole more efficient.
Greening existing buildings is more challenging than new construction... In a tough economy, vacancy in commercial real estate is increasing nationwide - but the vacancy rate in LEED certified commercial office space in San Francisco is less than half that of standard office space.
To address these challenges and opportunities, I've convened an Existing Buildings Efficiency Task Force comprised of members from San Francisco's ownership, developer, financial, architectural, engineering, and construction community. With the aid of this Task Force, the city will partner with the private sector to enable, encourage, and in some cases require that cost-effective opportunities to cut energy consumption 20% to 50%, improve water efficiency, and continue to move toward the elimination of solid waste in our community.
Without a doubt, San Francisco is a great place to make this call to action - there is already enthusiasm behind making the city the leader on evironmentalism, and retrofitting buildings with things like solar panels, more effective insulation, more efficient heating and cooling and so on is more than just a wouldn't-it-be-nice project idea. Hopefully this new task force will get things moving on creating new jobs and helping residents be able to stay in the city since they'll have a paycheck again. As we've pointed out on TreeHugger before, retrofitting is an excellent economic stimulus.
Check out the full post over at Triple Pundit
More on Green Buildings
Economic Stimulus! Sometimes What We're Looking For is Right Under Our Nose.
Ecocities of Tomorrow: How to Retrofit Your Downtown (The Abbreviated Course)
California Introduces Statewide Green Building Code